MLB Week in Review (July 27-August 2)

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The MLB is dealing with something that they have truly never dealt with in the long history of the league.

With over 110 years of history, the MLB has dealt with just about everything that a league could deal with.

They have had gambling scandals that have led to lifetime bans and a steroid scandal that rocked the league and still effects it to this day.

There is very little that the league hasn’t been able to see and to deal with in the 115 years it has been around but this week a new issue came around.

This one was entirely a new era problem as no league has had to deal with the ramifications of social media.

It has been a double-edged sword since Facebook began a massive growth in 2005 as social media has both opened the world and led to problems nobody has ever had to deal with before.

The MLB and all other leagues have used this new tool to help build bigger audiences and to help reach younger audiences.

It has become a must for everyone to use and for players, it is a way for them to reach out to the fans.

They can get a better connection with fans and build a brand around themselves that exists outside of playing baseball.

It is an extremely effective tool and teams along with players are using it more than ever with very few athletes not having some kind of presence on any of the major sites.

Like any new technology though the use of social media has had its pitfalls too and the new generation making their way to the major leagues it is taking things to a new level.

This week the new generation and the use of social media showed the bad side as a number of players were put on the spot thanks to old posts.

Josh Hader, Sean Newcomb and Trea Turner were all put on the hot seat when old tweets were brought back to life.

Those tweets were full of homophobic and racial slurs bringing into question the character of the players.

In an era where everyone needs to be careful about what they say these tweets can easily bring some bad consequences for the players.

All three had to apologize for what they said but the questions about their character still remain.

The MLB doesn’t really have a plan and there was never really a need for a plan until these tweets came to light.

There is little to do either as the MLB can’t necessarily regulate the use of social media as it is one place a player can be themselves.baseball-sidebar

Then again they could take a stance against the homophobic and racial issues that these players could post about.

For these three players, there is something else that goes into the issue as the tweets that were used.

All of these tweets were years ago and for some of them, they were made at a much younger age.

There is never any excuse to use the language that they used in those tweets but people are allowed to change their opinions.

Often at a younger age, opinions can be short-sighted with a lack of experience and exposure to other cultures playing a major role.

As people grow up and begin to experience life and different cultures they can often realize that their old opinions were not the smartest.

There needs to be some leniency in the fact that these old tweets were made by boys who were not entirely educated in different cultures.

They also didn’t realize the effect these words had on other people until they began to grow up.

It doesn’t mean they are off the hook for good as they deserve some type of punishment but to hold them accountable for the rest of their careers is a little extreme.

The issues that these players are going through should be a warning to the younger players coming up.

There is nothing that stays hidden anymore especially when it comes to social media.

Although those accounts can be a place for players to let loose the younger players can be sure that teams are about to vet their potential prospects more than ever.

Anything that they have said in the past that they have put out there is open for everyone to see.

Teams won’t want to take the risk of having something blow back on them giving young players a need to think before they tweet, although that is easier said than done.

 

Extra Innings

Taking a Shot

The Pittsburgh Pirates are not necessarily a shoe-in to make the postseason but recent success seemed to give them some extra hope. That hope translated to making a big move that they are banking on to make their recent run one that ends in the postseason. The Pirates traded with the Tampa Bay Rays to pick up one of the best young pitchers in the game in Chris Archer. Archer has been the only positive in Tampa Bay for years and now with a new team, he will be that key addition that could make the difference to making the postseason.

Staying Put

As the deadline approached the rumours began to swirl regarding the Washington Nationals potentially giving in and giving up on their season. They were a team caught in the middle as they had talent but struggles early in the season have put them at the point where the postseason is far from guaranteed. They could go on a run and make the postseason but they could also continue to struggle and miss. For that reason, the rumours began that the Nationals were ready to become sellers even letting go of Bryce Harper. In the end, the Nats said that they believed in the team and kept it the same hoping for a run.

Getting Rid of the Headache

The Toronto Blue Jays were clearly going to be open for business at the trade deadline but they opened the deadline up with a more surprising move. Roberto Osuna seemed to be an untouchable player for a number of reasons. One is that he is young and an amazing closer with a lot of potentials and with the Jays looking to build that young talent he was someone they could build around. The other reason would have been that no team really wanted him as he was set to return this month from suspension after allegations of domestic abuse. The Jays found a partner though as they traded Osuna to the Astros getting rid of the PR nightmare that would have been deciding whether or not to put him back into action.

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